Murray death 'puts everything in perspective' - McIlroy

Rory McIlroy in practice
McIlroy will play at the RBC Canadian Open this week [Getty Images]

Rory McIlroy says the death of golfer Grayson Murray offers a reminder that the sport "pales in comparison" to what is most important in life.

Murray, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, withdrew from last week's Charles Schwab Challenge event on Friday with illness, having played 16 holes of his second round.

The Tour announced on Saturday that he had passed away with the 30-year-old American's parents later saying in a statement he had taken his own life.

"It's incredibly sad, first and foremost, and I think we're all thinking of Grayson's family and hoping that they're doing OK and getting through this incredibly tough period," said McIlroy before the RBC Canadian Open.

"It's a cliche, but it puts everything in perspective. At the end of the day golf is golf and, yeah, we play it for a living, but it pales in comparison to the things that actually matter in life.

"I've had to realise that at times and I'm still sort of working my way through that in terms of not making golf the be-all and end-all for me. I think it slaps you in the face when something like that happens last week."

The four-time major winner said the "incredibly sad" news was a reminder that sportspeople are just as "vunerable" as everyone else.

"It's incredibly sad and everyone has to remember out here that we go out and we do things that a lot of people can't, but at the end of the day we're still human beings," he said.

"We're vulnerable and we're fragile, and I think if there's a lesson for anyone out there it's just to be kinder to each other."

The Canadian Open returns this week to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since McIlroy's 2019 victory in the tournament.

The Northern Irishman, who fell to world number three following Xander Schauffele's PGA Championship victory this month, did not play last week but will be in action in each of the next four tournaments, a run that includes the US Open at Pinehurst next month.

"I certainly switched off," said the 35-year-old.

"I went to one of my best friend’s weddings in Italy for four days, which was a lot of fun, good to see a lot of people from home I haven’t seen in a long time. Yeah, it was actually a really good trip, I needed it.

"Then I had a lovely break, I had a great weekend at home. Spent time with my family and with Poppy [McIlroy's daughter] and, yeah, it was awesome."

McIlroy, whose second-place finish last year at the US Open was his best since winning it in 2011, said he "needed that reset".

"I’m playing four weeks in a row here, so, yeah, I’m ready to go, but, yeah, it’s been a busy stretch and I’m sort of easing my way back into it," the 35-year-old said.

“I probably hit a grand total of probably 150 balls last week. So, not that I feel rusty, I feel like I’ve played enough golf to keep myself ticking over, but, yeah, last week was a good week to just reset and sort of start again.”

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